Infamous

Infamous - Suzanne Brockmann As far as Brockmann books go, I still prefer the titles in her Troubleshooters and category Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. However, this is a pleasant enough read. The characters are likable and the premise is unique.

Dr. Alyson Carter is a history professor whose particular interest and expertise lies in the famous legend of hero Marshall Sylas Quinn and the shoot out the Red Rock Saloon back in the mid 1800s. Marshall Quinn has always been her personal hero as well, and she view the man who stole the Marshall's beloved wife, Melody, to be the most vile villain of all time. When A.J. Gallagher, a man claiming to be the great grandson of the Evil Jamie Gallagher appears on the set of a movie about Marshall Quinn, where Alyson is currently serving as the historical consultant, she is very reluctant to believe A.J.'s assertion that everyone has had it all wrong all along, that Quinn was actually the monster and that Jamie Gallagher was wrongly accused of all sorts of misdeeds.

A.J. Gallagher isn't sure why he's all of the sudden seeing the ghost of his great grandfather, Jamie. Could be that he's going crazy. That the stress of his time serving in Iraq and the results of too many years drinking too much booze have finally sent him over the edge. Still, he determines to prove to Alyson that his family doesn't deserve the infamy it has received over the past hundred and fifty years.

Alyson and A.J. have an immediate attraction and the story follows A.J.'s attempts to convince Alyson of the truth and her attempts to ignore her feelings for him given the amount of baggage he comes with.

A sub-plot involving a crime that Alyson witnessed adds an outside edge of danger, but to be honest, this was wholly unnecessary and is one of the reasons I give the book only three stars. The last quarter of the book when the "bad guys" catch up to Alyson becomes practically impossible to follow, the string of events convoluted and the cast of bad-guy characters and their relationships with each other confusing. I ended skimming most of this part of the book just to get to the end.

Too, another problem I had with this book was the presence of Jamie Gallagher as a ghost. An honest to goodness, visible only to A.J. ghost. First of all, as the only supernatural element in an otherwise entirely real-world story, it seemed silly and out there. Too, Jamie made things too easy because as an entity that was invisible to all but one person and that could move around at will, he was there just in the nick of time to solve all sorts of problems.

My final issue was in how the premise played out. Silas Quinn was supposedly a national hero with an insanely famous legend surrounding him. Yet as Jamie Gallagher's story comes out, it is clear that Quinn was far from a hero. As more and more of his bad deeds came to light, I found it harder and harder to believe that an entire nation had been so thoroughly duped to buy into the massive lie wholesale. If only one aspect of the legend had been untrue - an important aspect - at least I could believe how Quinn might have gotten away with all of the lies he told. As it stands, the whole "national legend" aspect seemed far fetched.

In the end, this book was entertaining but not one of my favorite of Brockmann's.